A native of Burbank, California, actor and animal welfare advocate Dick Van Patten founded Natural Balance Pet food in 1989. Starting this new brand of dog food began with an ethos that your dog needs to receive the best quality food for the duration of its lifetime.
The idea was based on sound nutritional principles and an incorporation of the latest scientific thinking. Research and studies have shown providing pets with not only the best start in life, but continuing health through adulthood and on into their twilight years, is best done with a strong foundation of nutrition. Animals depend upon the nutrition of a well balanced diet just as their owners; therefore, caring for the pet is akin to caring for oneself.
When outlining the idea behind Natural Balance dog food, it was all about trust for Dick Van Patten. The trust between an owner and their pet works both ways and can foster one of the most enduring and rewarding relationships you will have in your life.
Trust is also highly important when buying food for the dogs. Your dogs does not really have too much say in the process, but you want to know exactly what you are giving them. Understanding the ingredients in the food you are offering your pet is the first step in providing the much needed nutritional balance.
Dick Van Patten understands the importance of dog owners trust within his company, therefore steps are taken to ensure food is safely and reasonably selected and included within the brand. The trust owners place in a dog food manufacturer is one Natural Balance takes very seriously.
Natural Balance seeks out trusted sources for the complex carbohydrates and natural fats that make up much of the energy component of this complete food. Natural Balance begins the process of food creations by starting with high quality, carefully sourced proteins.
Proteins are one of the most important ingredients within the dog’s diet. Proteins form the basis of any premium dog food; fresh fruits, vegetables and added vitamins and minerals ensure that this is an all in one product.
The added nutrients from fruits and veggies round out and maximize the nutrients in your dog’s diet-similar to how the added ingredients balance your own diet. Even better, there are not any supplements required to complete your dog’s diet when Natural Balance is consumed.
If you want your dog to stay grain free, Natural Balance does have a specific line for just this, the L.I.D. Limited Ingredients Diets (line). Legume & Wagyu Beef Dry Dog Formula will not only help control allergic reactions but can also help with maintaining a healthy digestive system, free from gastrointestinal problems while also supporting healthy skin and a shiny coat.
The Fat Dogs Low Calorie Dry Dog Food Formula is specially formulated for those dogs that like their food a little too much and may have put on a couple of extra pounds.
The puppy food provides a little more protein for healthy bone and joint development. Additionally, extra vitamins and minerals that an older dog might need are added to the seniors’ food.
All in all, this is a quality dog food. The company is open and transparent about what they do and you can surely trust their product to give your special guy or gal all the nutrition they need for years to come.
The L.I.D Limited Ingredient Diets line had been keeping dogs healthy throughout the 1990s and was one of the first dog foods to incorporate the idea of a limited ingredient diet.
In the 1990’s, there were not as many food research studies completed as there are today. Beginning with an L.I.D diet in your dog was inventive and highly regarded topic during this time period. In modern society, humans and their pets have all sorts of diets with the goal of reaching optimal health. Natural Balance aims to continuously evolve and react with the research shown to benefit the body.
The benefits of these types of Limited Ingredient Diets line foods are many and varied. First, like our own foods, the fewer ingredients we put in our body, the more control we have over their quality and of exactly what they are. The fewer, the better, in many cases.
For those with allergies, using a limited ingredient diet will allow one to determine which foods cause which symptoms, or which foods that are avoided are no longer causing conflict with the body. The same is true for dogs! Your canine may be allergic to a great many human food ingredients that are not a natural part of the diet.
For example, sugars, gluten, and some grains can cause serious skin irritations and poor look of the fur. Bones may become denser, immune systems may suffer, and your dog may have a depressed mood and lack of energy. Eliminating much of the ingredients he is eating can help determine which foods your dog responds best too.
How many times have you read an ingredient list and got slightly worried when you could not even read (never mind pronounce or identify many of them listed) in the bottom half of the ingredient listing?
Many studies have shown that humans and their pets should not consume food made with ingredients that one cannot pronounce easily or even recognize.
A big clue as to the legitimacy of an ingredient, is simply whether you know the word, or if the ingredient has been around fifty or more years and is single ingredient. For example, bread, chicken, water.
Another reason to try an L.I.D with your pet is the fact that with more ingredients, there is more chance that your dog will have an adverse reaction to one of them. The more ingredients consumed, the higher the chance of a reaction.
With a long list of ingredients, it is a lot harder to identify exactly what is causing the problem and therefore harder to avoid it in the future. You can, of course, ask your dog but many have found this method to be at best unreliable.
A better way to determine which ingredients adhere to the genetic makeup of your particular dog, and one that Natural Balance pioneered, is by taking advantage of the Buy with Confidence program.
This program allows you to purchase any of their products, and after you get them home, you can go to the Natural Balance website and choose the particular product you bought. When this is selected, you may then enter the expiration date found on the packaging.
As part of their commitment to quality, every batch is independently analyzed and the result of this extensive testing will pop up on your screen after these few easy steps.
You are then able to verify the ingredients and any updates on the packages the company may have made. The Buy with Confidence program was way ahead of its time and there are few companies today that make this process so easy. Natural Balance guarantees their products in many ways to allow you to make the best decision for both you and your pet.
Natural Balance Dog Food Ingredients
Human grade meats are used in this product, and all grains, fruits and vegetables are marked as high quality. Chicken, chicken broth, sweet potatoes, potatoes and dehydrated potatoes come in at the top five by weight and this is good news. The top five ingredients tell a tale of how healthy the food actually is.
Many dog food lines use chicken meal rather than chicken and chicken broth as Natural balance does. Chicken meal has three times the protein as regular chicken, and if added to Natural Balance rather than whole chicken, the protein count could rise.
A drawback of not using chicken meal is that chicken could be replaced by chicken meal (as whole chicken is 80% water), but there are a lot worse meats out there. Overall, the ingredient list is that of whole foods and one that even humans could ingest.
It is nice to see that the carbohydrate sources are all potatoes. Some dog food companies use grains and fillers as a carbohydrate or energy source, which may cause stomach and skin problems in your dog.
Using potatoes allows a good source of energy in the food, unlike some of the wheat, corn, and soy by-product fillers that make up a considerable percentage of some cheaper dog foods. Sodium nitrite is a carcinogen, so marks off for that ingredient being possibly ingested. Be careful if your dog is prone to allergic reactions as this is not a grain free product.
Other ingredients listed upon the Natural Balance label are:
- Duck meal
- Canola Oil
- Potato protein
- Potato fiber
- Brown rice
- Chicken meal
- Brewer’s yeast
- Chicken fat
- Salmon meal
These ingredients are all healthy ingredients for ingestion and digestion and can be found in the wild, if needed. Your dog depends upon ingredients he would naturally hunt and eat if left to their own devices. The best ingredients are those that are whole foods, blend well with others, and offer a variety of vitamins and nutrients.
Many dog owners are unaware of the need for omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in their dog’s diets. Just as this acid is essential in our life, your canine depends on the nutrients derived from the oil.
Salmon meal and canola oil offer your dog this vital nutrient and can help alleviate skin irritations, rough coat, and boost the immune system. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have also been shown to help with the heart, brain and eye function.
Duck and duck meal are great sources of protein for your dog, along with the chicken and chicken meal. Not only are these meats great substance for your dog, but the flavor and texture also match the cravings your dog instinctually possess. Rounding out the ingredient list are the veggies, rice and oats. The potato and carrots add carbs, energy, the rice and oats add these as well, but with the added benefit of fiber, B vitamins and calories.
The Natural Balance dog food line has quite a lot of variety in regards to the product lines. In the Limited Ingredient Diet product line, Natural balance has the following flavors and specialties:
- Sweet Potato and Fish
- Legume and Duck Meal
- Potato and Duck Puppy
- Legume and Wagyu Beef
- Sweet Potato and Chicken
- Lamb Meal and Brown Rice
- Potato and Duck
- Potato and Kangaroo
- Sweet Potato and Bison
- Sweet Potato and Venison
- Sweet Potato and Fish Small Breed Bites
- Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Small Breed Bites
- Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Large Breed Bites
- Potato and Duck Small Breed Bites
The Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health product line has five varieties:
- Ultra Small Breed Bites
- Ultra Puppy Formula
- Ultra Large Breed Bites
- Chicken, Chicken Meal and Duck Meal
- Venison, Turkey Meal and Lamb Meal
No matter the type of breed, the size, the temperament, and the special needs of your dog, you are sure to find a product line in the Natural Balance line to meet the individual needs of your dog.
Natural Balance Dog Food Coupons
Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews
Natural Balance dog food is an overall well received brand of food that has been shown to benefit even the most finicky dog. The broad range of ingredients and products are able to be adapted to most any diet, and online reviewers have reflected this as much in their postings.
In many review websites, judges determined that the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food earned a rating of three out of five stars. While reaching three stars may be deemed successful by some, a mid-range rating is not very good overall. Given the high standards of Natural Balance, and their proper ingredients, it is surprising for this blend to score ‘low’ on a rating.
Another blend rated online by various sources is the Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dog Food brand. This blend received a 3.5 out 5 rating. The extra half a star in the rating boosts the reliability of this brand just a bit, but not enough to reach the perfect score of five stars.
Online shoppers have rated this food well, mostly four stars out of five. Dog parents have found this food to be easily digested by their dogs and easily adapted to when the food has changed. Dogs seem to enjoy the food and do not refuse it-always a good thing!
Natural Balance Dog Food Recalls
Recalls of pet food are bound to happen on occasion, despite even the best intentions of never needing to recall a food. While a great many recalls seem to occur with foods produced overseas, some foods made in America are also recalled. Using fresh, raw foods and meats always increase the risk of food borne illness and cross contamination among food preparers and manufacturers.
No one is immune to the risk of contamination, and almost all companies have had issue occur with their food quality, either demanding a recall, or not. Keeping their food as close to locally sourced as possible, limiting transportation of raw food, and keeping their facilities up to date are all ways in which a dog food company is able to limit the amount of risk in the recall sector.
Natural Balance seems to have two recalls listed in online sources. In June of 2011, the 5 and 28 pound bags of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food were recalled due to voluntary measures preventing a potential salmonella outbreak.
Despite the many safety measure Natural balance has in place, the company issued a voluntary recall in May of 2012 because of a contamination scare. There were not any sicknesses or deaths among the pet consumers, but some of the products tested positive for salmonella during quality checks.
In the past four years, there have not been any recalls, voluntary or mandatory, and the company does not forsee recalls in the near future.
As far as recalls are concerned, the Natural Balance brand has never had a mandated recall, or one in which was responsible for the sickness or death of an animal. Overall, the brand is deemed safe and trusted, and should not be of concern to be effected by a future recall.